Summer 2024

Farmer's Markets 101

By Lauren Hurwitz

Founded in 1991 by Ossining-based residents Miriam Haas and her husband Jon Zeltsman, Down to Earth Markets came to be because Miriam thought to herself, “We are in a beautiful green county – why can’t we get food from nearby like the New York City farmer’s markets?” Haas went from helping organize food-buying co-ops with families in Ossining to making it easier by organizing a weekly farmer’s market and today the company runs nine markets between Westchester and NYC including Larchmont, Rye, Ossining, and Scarsdale.

Another big player in the local farmer’s market scene is Pascale Le Draoulec, Founder of Morning Glory Markets, who runs the markets in Pelham, Bronxville, Chappaqua, Hastings on Hudson, Irvington, and the grounds of the New York Botanical Gardens. Draoulec prides herself on ensuring that all markets are, “happy places that celebrate community. Instead of people spending time on their phones, they are talking to each other, their neighbors, and the farmers – and slowing down a bit.”

She started the company back in 2007 after leaving the world of food journalism to stay home with her two toddlers. “I wanted to be home with my kids and cooking again, and there was a little market in our town that needed love and to grow. The market board approached me and asked if I would run the market because they knew about my background as a food writer who had covered the farm-to-table movement in the Hudson Valley. I took over the Hastings market, and it grew, and after I took over Irvington, the Chappaqua market called me. I had no plans to start a business in this field, but it happened organically.” 

Need tips for successful farmer’s market shopping? Dacotah Rousseau, Managing Director of Down to Earth Markets says, “Remember to bring your own bags just like everywhere else you shop. Farmers don’t hand out bags – they try to be very careful about their environmental impact. You can even pack bags for holding products, maybe a cooler pack for milk when shopping on a warm day, or a small cooler for things like ice cream that might melt.” La Draoulec says, “Always think seasonally. Produce is picked at the peak season and it’s best at the market, so make sure you grab that.” She adds, “Stroll the market to get a sense of different offerings, as well as pricing on similar offerings.” 

And don’t forget that farmer’s markets have websites. Many of them offer recipes. “Shoppers should educate themselves before they go to the market and look for a recipe with what’s most seasonal. Then you’ll be able to buy all the ingredients locally and fresh, at once. If you don’t do this, you might look at something like rhubarb, which is currently in season, and say, ‘This looks nice,’ but you’ll be afraid to buy it because you think it requires too much time to prepare,” Le Draoulec says. 

Lastly, talk to the farmers and vendors. “It’s a real luxury to be able to speak to the person who is selling you something and you should take advantage.” Le Draoulec adds. 


Salsa Wallito

Founded in 2021 by Maylene Balli-Klein, this Pearl River-based salsa company is known for its authentic Mexican salsa Norteña with a rich family history and tradition that goes back a century. The salsa is made in five unique flavors including a smoky chipotle, a tangy verde, a seven-pepper blend called” Siete” that’s packed with flavor, plus two new flavors: Tequilazo which is a tequila-infused smoky salsa, and Bonita, a mild and flavorful salsa. Her products are available at Down to Earth Markets in Larchmont, Glory Farmers Markets in Bronxville and TaSH in Tarrytown.

Willow Pond Sheep Farm

Carrie Wasser has spent the last seven years producing sheep’s milk yogurt and bottled sheep’s milk with her husband, Brent. According to Wasser, sheep milk tends to be more easily digestible, and it also has nearly double the cream content of cow’s milk, making very smooth, creamy yogurt, sold between May and October. In the fall and winter, they focus on selling their pasture-raised lamb. Willow Pond products are a favorite at the Larchmont market.

Ash Hopper Botanical Skincare

Owner Thena Donnelly, formulates all products in this clean skincare line that was her passion project for two decades before she formed an LLC in 2020. “Our plant-based products feature ECOCERT organic ingredients, and we’re known for creating effective skincare solutions tailored for even the most sensitive skin,” Donnelly says. By utilizing traditional perfumery techniques, they create their own unique, signature scents using only organic essential oils. Her products can be found at the markets in Larchmont, Hastings on the Hudson, and TaSH in Tarrytown.



Since 2016, Rose McNamara has been at the head of SOVA Farm and says they are the only provider of Certified Organic and Pastured eggs, chicken, pork, and lamb in the Westchester County farmer’s markets. They love dealing directly with consumers educating them about the benefits of their products. Her company also makes honey made from their own flower fields and provides “certified organic milk and butter from 100% grass-fed cows from our neighbor as well as certified organic maple syrup,” says McNamara. SOVA delights at the farmer’s markets in Larchmont, Rye, and Scarsdale.